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F1: 2007

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1. Kimi Raikkonen

2. Felipe Massa

3. Lewis Hamilton

Link: BBC: French GP



Next week from today: the BRITISH GP! With Hamilton having placed himself on the podium in all the races so far, this upcoming one will be very interesting.

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"Absolutely NOT!", when it comes to the idea of a London City F-1 Grand Prix race, like the Monaco GP, says Ecclestone.

Link: BBC: F1 Boss Reject London Grand Prix


"Too Expensive," he said. :P


Demonstration of it 3 Years Ago

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McLaren caught in Ferrari spy row

McLaren are embroiled in a spying row following claims one of their leading staff illegally received information from arch-rivals Ferrari.

McLaren suspended a "senior member" of their design team after learning he had "personally received technical information from a Ferrari employee".

The man in question is understood to be chief designer Mike Coughlan.

McLaren said on Wednesday that no other employee had access to the information and that the team had not benefited.

Coughlan was suspended after Ferrari sacked former team manager Nigel Stepney following an internal investigation.

Ferrari believe Stepney stole parts and gave technical information to rivals.

Italian police are investigating Stepney after Ferrari filed a formal complaint with the Modena district attorney, although no charges have been brought.

"We have proof that Stepney had been supplying technical information to a McLaren employee," a Ferrari spokesman said.

"A search was carried out of the (McLaren) engineer's house, where we found this information," he added.

"This is a very serious situation. We are talking about a lot of information being given to a prominent McLaren engineer. We are not talking about rumours or speculation."

McLaren said in a statement on Wednesday: "McLaren has completed a thorough investigation and can confirm that no Ferrari intellectual property has been passed to any other members of the team or incorporated into its cars.

"McLaren has in the meantime openly disclosed these matters to [F1 governing body] the FIA and Ferrari and sought to satisfy any concerns that have arisen from this matter.

"In order to address some of the speculation McLaren has invited the FIA to conduct a full review of its cars to satisfy itself that the team has not benefited from any intellectual property of another competitor."

McLaren's actions are a clear attempt to prevent any potential further action by Ferrari against them, which could potentially include an appeal against some of their results this season.

Coughlan and Stepney worked together at the Benetton team in the early 1990s and later at Ferrari's old UK design studio, which was based in Surrey until 1997.

Stepney has said Ferrari are waging a "dirty tricks campaign" against him.

His lawyer said last month: "Nigel wishes to make clear that he has nothing to do with this and is not guilty of anything."

The development is highly embarrassing for McLaren, whose boss Ron Dennis periodically makes a point of pointing out the nefariousness of rivals who he claims have been caught trying to spy on the team.

McLaren and Ferrari have a long and difficult relationship, and there is an atmosphere of mutual distrust between the two outfits.

The situation may also prove a distraction from McLaren's attempt to win the British Grand Prix this weekend and strengthen their lead in the world championship over Ferrari.

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton is 14 points clear of team-mate Fernando Alonso in the title chase, with Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen three and five points behind the Spaniard.

Stepney joined Ferrari from Benetton in 1992 as chief mechanic, rising to the post of race and test technical manager during the team's period of domination between 2000 and 2004.

He moved to a factory-based role earlier this year after voicing his dissatisfaction over the direction of the team following Michael Schumacher's retirement and Ross Brawn stepping down as technical director.



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It sounds serious, but not serious enough to affect the drivers or the championship. McLaren have, of course, denied any knowledge of the information, and I think Ron Dennis is a decent man and believe him when he says his team haven't gained an unfair advantage. We'll see how this one plays out, but don't forget the most eagerly anticipated British GP for years is this Sunday amidst the chaos!

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Stunning last gasp lap from Lewis Hamilton to snatch pole position for tomorrow's British Grand Prix at Silverstone right at the death from Kimi Raikkonen. Fernando Alonso starts third, with Felipe Massa fourth. It's a lovely day in Northamptonshire just off the A43. Let's hope the sun shines on British motorsport again tomorrow afternoon.

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She almost looks peckish, I'd say.

Anyway, the battle to secure the long-term future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone appears to have stepped up a gear, with a redevelopment package set to soon be approved by the BRDC.

Silverstone vows to reward fans

The crowds at Silverstone over the weekend and the atmosphere they generated is surely reason enough for Bernie Ecclestone to ensure that there remains a race on the F1 calendar there. If he can't see what he has there, then he clearly hasn't got the sense he thought he had.

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Lack of foresight leaves Silverstone stuck in the past

AS THE drivers line up on the grid for the British Grand Prix today, 80-odd miles to the south, the men’s final will take place at Wimbledon, which is being upgraded to make it the finest tennis venue in the world. Elsewhere, the cyclists of the Tour de France will race through east London, where the 2012 Olympics will be held at venues that are starting to take shape. The new Wembley and countless other new football stadiums stand proud.

Yet Silverstone is in a perennial stalemate, and there is every chance that Britain will lose its grand prix. Surely that couldn’t happen? We thought that about the French Grand Prix, too. It is especially ironic as we are surrounded by Hamilton fever. When Fernando Alonso secured his first world championship it generated such interest in Spain that from next year we will have two grands prix there. Silverstone heads up the strongest national motorsport industry in the world by some margin. Most Formula One teams are based within a 50-mile radius of the circuit, yet we keep hearing from the powers that be that the track is falling behind and the event’s future is in jeopardy.

This is deeply frustrating for me because I was chairman of the board of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), the members’ club that owns Silverstone, three years ago and we had arrived at the stage, after hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment in design and environmental studies, where all that was required to transform the pit complex was Bernie Ecclestone’s signature on a piece of A4. Unfortunately, this all became swamped in the negotiations to allow the giant American corporation Interpublic to leave its British GP contract. It left behind large amounts of money to be relieved of the responsibility of promoting the British Grand Prix. That kiss-off money, which did not go to Silverstone, allowed it to be excused when it came to completing the new facilities.

Damon Hill is now president of a more unified BRDC, but he is somewhere between a rock and a hard place � unless a large chunk of money is generated. Silverstone, unlike Wimbledon, doesn’t see any television or sponsorship revenue. The only income they get is from the fans. Yet they are liable for all the costs � the security, logistics, maintenance and promoters’ fees. It can never add up.

I watch with interest as Ecclestone is constantly courted by entourages from around the world trying to secure an F1 slot. Governments don’t think twice about signing off the investment needed for these gleaming new super venues. They do this because they look at the revenue from the visiting fans, tax income, global awareness and reputation, and opportunities for business-to-business and technology development.

Despite having no motorsport championships or industry, it is a no-brainer for them to pay Ecclestone’s sanction fee and put in half a billion dollars of infrastructure to create facilities that humble Silverstone even if they don’t have its character, history or heritage. Ecclestone rightly says British motorsport should be leading the way, not trailing.

Of course, the harsh reality is that the paddock is full of billionaires and multi-millionaires in a country that doesn’t have enough school places or books, and many cannot even find a dentist. Hospitals need more investment too. So how can we justify pumping, say, £30m into a grand prix venue?

That train of thought has to be broken because what the event brings the country far outweighs the £30m. Without the GP, Britain will be losing significant revenue anyway and there will be a real threat to the £7 billion British motorsport industry. Breaking that deadlock is going to involve the teams and the region too. The teams tell how important it is to their sponsors that we have a British GP. Many sponsors think of the UK as treasure island. Often spending more than $400m per annum, it wouldn’t be difficult for the UK-based teams to contribute too, so we can go to the government and say, “Right, the BRDC has sold tranches of land for cash, the teams have done this much, the sport’s governing body has finally helped too, and we can twist Bernie’s arm for this deal. So what can you the government bring in terms of tax holidays and other resources and value?”

It will need a person of great integrity and commercial skill to glue this together but, in reality, it should be achievable because everybody wins. But it won’t happen. I know that, as ever, on the grid today there will be politicians jumping on the Lewis bandwagon. They love the kudos, appreciate the platform. But together we may well throw it all away.


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Interesting thoughts from Martin Brundle and he should know what it's like from his work at the BRDC. I don't personally share his fears, because I believe Silverstone has something far more valuable than unlimited money. All it takes is a certain individual with the power to have the brains to see it.

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